Theories of personality
Submitted To: Ma’am Shaista Jabeen
Submitted By: Rehmat Noor
Roll no: 20-11089
Q: Freudian and neo-Freudian approaches to understand and explain persosality. What are the contributions of these approaches to the field of psychology?
Introduction and Theories
According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, progression through certain stages develops personality and each stage is characterized by internal psychological conflict. Freud focused on sex as the main aspect of personality development. Freud also talked about term “Instinct” which are driving forces of personality. There are life instincts and death instincts divided into sub-categories respectively. Cathexis and libido comes under umbrella of life instinct while death instinct consist of aggressive drive as a component.
Freud mainly emphasized on five stages of psycho-sexual development, believing that most human problems are caused while childhood development. Stages are Oral (0 – 1.5 years of age): On the off chance that necessities not satisfactorily met there is the probability of creating negative oral propensities or practices. Anal (1.5 to 3 years of age): Basically this phase is related to processing healthy toilet training habits. Phallic (3 – 5 year of age): The sexual fascination boy and girl have toward a parent of the contrary sex (boys to mothers and girls to fathers). There is an Oedipus complex in which boy feels attraction towards his mother and rivalry for his father while on other hand girl is attracted towards her father and urges to replace her mother. Freud also mentioned castration anxiety. Latency (5 – 12 years of age): sexual instincts subsides and child starts to develop morally acceptable behavior, adopting parent’s values. Genital (12 – adulthood): successful passing through past four phases are incorporated into the psyche considering the beginning of solid sexual sentiments and practices.
It is these stages that develops normal functioning of a person and according to Freud every person passes through these five stages. If a person gets fixated at any specific stage called as fixation, it can lead to unhealthy personality and if that person successfully undergoes, he gains healthy personality. Freud also described “erogenous zones” which are pleasure seeking parts of body. Experiences through development stages are shifted through three levels of mind. As indicated by Freud while among these three levels there is a relationship but in personality development each level likewise fills a need. Three level framework comprising of the superego, the sense of self, and the id which forms Freud’s structural theory of personality.
Super ego: The superego works at a cognizant phase. Basically, it provides the awareness of what is happening around. It is more towards morals of society and at this level parents guidance takes over personal pleasure which is provided by id.
Ego: Ego work as balance power which normalize the conflicts between id and super ego. It provides self power to make balance between both levels id and super ego to bring out practical results in reality.
Id: it demands instant gratification of needs and urges. It is selfish part of person which is egocentric part of human. According to Freud it is this level that wants what it wants by any possible way.
Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875. He was greatly influenced by Freud on the basis of unconscious. He developed Jungian psychology, also known as analytical psychology. Carl Jung contradicted Freud with respect to the part of sexuality. He explained libido as generalized psychic energy instead of just sexual energy. According to Carl Jung psychic energy gives motivation to the person in various essential ways.
According to Jung, ego is center part of consciousness as it is awareness of identity and existence so ego is conscious part of personality.
In his personality theory, he presented two distinguished attitudes that are extroversion and introversion. Introverts are drawn towards inner self because they are mindful of their inner world which includes feelings, dreams and fantasies. While extroverts are oriented towards outer world and people. To Jung, everyone have capability to carry both attitudes but traits of one psyche comes out to be more dominant. Jung mentioned four functions of personality which are thinking, feeling, sensing and intuitive. When these functions are attached which attitudes, it results into eight personality types; extroverted thinking, extroverted feeling, extroverted sensing, extroverted intuition, introverted thinking, introverted feeling, introverted sensing and introverted intuition.
Jung mentioned complexes which are from experience collected all together by common theme that influence our behavior. According to Jung collective unconscious is the unconscious level which is comprised of evolutionary and ancestral past and shared with other individuals of human species.”The form of the world into which a person is born is already inborn in him, as a virtual image.” (Jung, 1953, p. 188). Archetypes (Jung, 1947) are images and thoughts which have universal meanings across cultures. Anima or animus archetype refers to the male having feminine tendencies while female having masculine tendencies respectively. Persona archetype refers to “mask” which shows the conformity level of a person and hiding true self. Then comes shadow archetype which represents animal side of one’s personality. Lastly, self archetype indicates a sense of unity. To Jung, the ultimate aim of every individual is to achieve a state of self-hood (similar to self-actualization). Carl Jung presented developmental stages of personality. It had three stages: childhood when child develops ego and learn to distinguish between self and others, puberty to young adulthood when conscious is at strength also includes adaptation of reality demands, middle age when transition phase comes over and one attempt to balance conscious and unconscious.
Alfred Adler was the first president of Vienna Psychoanalytical Society. He proposed the idea of the inferiority complex which refers to person’s feelings of unworthiness and failing to meet society standards. Adler believed that compensation of inferiority feelings in childhood and an attempt to reach superiority leads the person’s behavior and thoughts.
Adler brought the idea of the inferiority complex which is not being able to compensate inferiority feelings while, on contrast, superiority complex is overcompensation. He mentioned that striving for superiority which includes desire to reach completion and perfection provides motivation to every individual. He mentioned that guidance of our behavior is through potential or imagined goal described as fictional finalism. He came up with style of life and creative power of self which refers to striving for perfection through unique pattern of behavior and ability to create ourselves through given material of environment along heredity, respectively. Basically, the types of style of life are the dominant, the ruling, the avoiding and socially useful type. Besides early recollections idea he proposed the concept of social interest and tendencies of it depends upon early social experiences. He emphasized the concept of birth order and that its very significant in shaping one’s personality. First born are authoritative and good at maintain order. Second born are ambitious as they compete with first born. Last born are high achievers as they compete with all elder siblings while only child gets matured by early age as they face the issue of not being center of attention when they move into practical life circle.
Discussion and criticism
However, Freud gave phenomenal contributions to the field of psychology but he did not lack critics. He constructed his theories in the light of his work with troubled adults instead of any child. Freud extensively emphasized on the sexuality and ignored other important variables. Specifically, oedipus complex and child’s sexual desire for parents was not really acceptable at large. Some critics says that Freud’s clients memories of childhood disturbance were not authentic according to the claim that Freud made and constrained upon his patients. Feminists discouraged his biased approach as he mainly focus males point of view and named him sexist and misogynist. He profoundly focused upon pathology and ignored the normal healthy person study. His studies lacked culture, social and environment factor and had weak scientific basis.
Freud’s original theories both further studied and contradicted by Neo-Freudian approaches towards the personality study. Jung separated from Freud depended on two noteworthy contradictions. They both had conflict on the topic of sexuality. Secondly, in spite of the fact that Jung agreed with Freud’s idea of an individual unconscious, he thought it to be fragmented. Notwithstanding the individual unconscious, Jung concentrated on the collective unconscious. Researcher believed archetype theme gives paranormal sense and have no evidence but by heredity means it seems promising. The idea of midlife crisis is considered to be essential part of personality development and has been supported by research. Jungian concepts were not comprehensible also he didn’t wrote for general public. Jung had clash with Freud’s concept of solely past experiences as Jung anticipated humanistic with self actualization idea and future oriented approach. However, extroversion and introversion were major successful themes.
Coming to Alfred Adler, the concept of inferiority was the major difference between Adler and Freud’s perceptive. Adler was a follower of conscious mind which means he considered conscious process of our mind to be more important than the unconscious one. He distinguished three social tasks that were important: Profession that was more of a career of occupational tasks, friendship that was societal tasks and finding a love partner for a long-term relationship that was love task. Unlike Freud which believed more on sexually aggressive motives for behavior Adler focus was more towards social intentions. Adler also proposed that we have our personality according to the order in which we are born, this was a major contribution to personality psychology. He suggested that when the first child is born, all focus and attention of parents is on him/her but when a younger one is born he shares the attention hence the older ones try to become fast and sharp by becoming overachievers. The younger one become spoiled due to less pressure than the older one to live in the society. The middle ones have but limit the negative elements of both the older and younger ones. In spite of prevalent attention research work has not yet confirmed or accepted Adler’s hypothesis related to birth order.
Freud’s major contribution to the field of psychology remains significant till today, the applications of his theories are useful for the matter of betterment of individuals. Freud gave very good technique of psychoanalysis to point out the issue in the client. For example, a person diagnosed with the phobia arachnophobia has usually roots of fear developed in early childhood, mother has main role in child’s development. Through exploring one’s dreams and unconsciousness it led to the main reason behind the phobia which is castration. Defense mechanisms are significant in process of encountering anxiety. Catharsis provides the opportunity to relief the stress and physically express emotions which is still is mainstream techniques use by professionals. Through psychoanalysis we can identify the roots and variables of stress and issues. Psychoanalysis comes with limitations that it takes long period of time and it is costly. Through dream analysis we can discover aspects of personality of client and it helps to point out unconscious fears and repressed memories.
Carl Jung’s major contributions to psychology for assessment and treatment is word association test which is a projective technique, which analyze a person’s instant response towards stimulus word. Than there is symptom analysis which is based on free associations of patient compiling to his symptoms which is similar to catharsis. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is based to identify psychological attitudes and types of Jung’s concept of introversion and extroversion. It is visibly practice to work upon personality in professional settings.
Alfred Adler’s personality theories applications includes self-determination and uniqueness which gives motivation to achieve goals and strive for perfection. In social context it give sense of larger community and wholeness in terms of family and tribes.
Freud and neo-Freudian theories built up their hypothesis on their very own encounters, distinctive occasions, and diverse obstacles that came into their life. So in the long run these occurrences and conditions pushed them to trust that either Sigmund Freud is correct or off-base. These Neo-Freudians have diverse keen about existence furthermore, encounters and that is the manner by which they drive their speculations however pretty much they all have a connection to theory of Sigmund Freud by one means or another. These theories of personality provides deeper understanding of self and society and helps in better analysis of individuals in practical as well as theoretical means.
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